“It Was Bound to Happen” an enigmatic journey of fantasy and fetish by Ishan Batra
As the models clad in metal and leather confidently marched down the runway, perfectly synchronized with the pulsating beat of the music and the mesmerizing ebb and flow of the lights, the atmosphere was volatile. The metal elements in the garments gleamed and glistened under the arc lights, casting a captivating shimmer across the runway. The leather, meticulously cut with clinical precision and crafted, exuded opulence and sophistication. The interplay of leather and metal on the fluid canvases that were the models bodies was a visual and tactile symphony, a juxtaposition of soft and hard elements that created an arresting contrast emphasizing the theme of fantasy and fetish.
This collection titled “It Was Bound to Happen” that created waves at the fashion show “APKALBOS 2023 or GOSSIP 20023″ in Kaunas, Lithuania, was not just a routine fashion spectacle; it was a voyage of self-discovery, creativity, and unapologetic expression. The show was the milestone of a remarkable journey that began when Ishan Batra, a dedicated student of fashion design at the World University of Design (WUD as its affectionately referred to), in Sonepat, India, was selected for a transformative opportunity – the Semester Exchange Program at Kaunas College, Lithuania, under an ERASMUS mobility grant. Stepping out of his comfort zone, he ventured into the unknown, embracing a new culture and an environment that would become the crucible for his creative evolution.
WUD based in Sonepat, Delhi NCR has established partnerships with universities and institutions worldwide. These collaborations create opportunities for cultural exchange, joint projects, and shared learning experiences. Students gain access to international resources, networks, and perspectives, which prepare them for success on the global stage. Many such initiatives (like the one lshan was engaged in), helps global mobility of students by creating opportunities to study, intern, or engage in projects abroad. These experiences are instrumental in helping students gain a deeper understanding of international markets, trends, and consumer behaviors.
“The path to being selected for the semester exchange program (ERASMUS2023) to Lithuania from World University Of Design was a culmination of dedication, academic excellence, and a strong desire for cross-cultural enrichment. Embarking on the semester exchange program to Europe as a fashion design student from our university was an enriching adventure. The opportunities that unfolded were truly beyond imagination.” Thus Ishan describes the beginnings of his journey.
Ishan‘s journey took him beyond the confines of Kaunas as well. He had the incredible opportunity to travel to the fashion capital of the world, Paris, where he visited renowned studios and witnessed the grandeur of Paris Fashion Week. These experiences were not only eye-opening but also provided him with invaluable insights into the world of high fashion and its intricate workings. Speaking about his international exposure, Ishan says “Exploring fashion capitals like Milan and Paris and the opportunity to experience Paris fashion week allowed me to absorb the pulse of the global fashion scene firsthand. Attending workshops by renowned designers, visiting iconic fashion houses, and witnessing international fashion events were just some of the remarkable experiences. This semester abroad not only deepened my academic knowledge but also fostered personal growth, independence, and a lasting appreciation for global interconnectedness.”
In the ever-evolving world of fashion, where boundaries are constantly pushed and creativity knows no limits, one designer has embarked on a journey that challenges conventions and inspires awe.
Months of intense hard work followed, as Ishan immersed himself in the studios of Kaunas University. He delved into meticulous research, exploring the intricate and often enigmatic themes of fantasy and fetish. These themes, dark and alluring, served as the cornerstone of his collection, challenging societal norms and pushing the boundaries of conventional fashion.
The collection seamlessly weaves together elements of fantasy and fetish with a sustainable design approach, and it’s a journey that can leave one breathless, exhilarated, and deeply moved. Leather and metal trims, chains and studs are skillfully employed to evoke feelings of both restraint and liberation. The clothing and accessories become a canvas for self-expression, inviting wearers to explore their own desires and boundaries, with each piece designed to challenge societal norms and redefine notions of sensuality and empowerment.
In Ishan’s own words “Bound to happen, celebrate the Minotaur that is within all of us – Strong, bold, and confident. At the core of the collection is the act of pleasure, fantasy, romance, and eroticism. Drawing inspiration from our heritage that is replete with references to eroticism, sexual pleasure, sexual fulfilment, and sexual fantasy, the collection aims to bridge the gap between fantasy, leather fetish fashion, taboo, human emotions and vulnerability. The capsule collection is all about exploring leather as a kink. Outfits showcasing leather fetish fashion and kink as a new normal lifestyle fetish core has come a long way since it was underground and taboo and eventual emergence, therefore the purpose of this capsule creation is to acknowledge and honor its roots, keeping it chic yet edgy.”
In the contemporary fashion world, sustainability is paramount. WUD‘s emphasis on sustainable fashion practices ensures that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address environmental and ethical concerns in their designs. Ishan carried this belief through his collection which is also a testament to the future of sustainable fashion. Ishan’s commitment to the environment shines through in the zero-waste cutting patterns used to create the garments. All the leather cut outs of the garments have been incorporated back into the ensembles or accessories with no wastage. While the collection is bold and avant-garde in its aesthetics, it also demonstrates the designer’s dedication to minimizing waste and reducing the fashion industry’s ecological footprint.
Each piece in the collection is a marvel of craftsmanship, showcasing the luxurious use of leather and metal chains while also reminding us that fashion can be both opulent and eco-conscious. In a world grappling with the consequences of fast fashion, Ishan Batra‘s “It is Bound to Happen” collection is a testament to this balancing act, where the pursuit of opulence meets the responsibility to protect our environment. He considers taking this pursuit of sustainability forward in each of his future collections.
The international opportunity provided by the university has not only earned accolades for Ishan but has opened doors to a new chapter in his career. The culmination of his show at Gossip was followed by two stunning offers. A visitor was waiting for him backstage with an offer to design a leather collection for an European brand. He had landed an internship based on the capsule collection and ended up working with the premium homegrown Lithuanian brand EPICI. Another offer was an invitation to design for celebrities at the Burning Man festival, which he had to graciously let pass due to time constraints.
In retrospect, the international exchange wasn’t just an opportunity to study abroad; it was a transformation. It was a journey from a student’s aspiration to a designer’s triumph, from the classroom to the runway, and from the conventional to the audacious. Ishan Batra‘s story is a testament to the power of embracing opportunities, pushing boundaries and unapologetically bringing one’s creative vision to life.